The Applied Exercise and Health major is a comprehensive and structured curriculum that supplies students with the knowledge and practical experience to become leading professionals in the field of health and fitness. It is a cooperative educational program housed in the Department of Health & Kinesiology with support from the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Division of Recreational Sports, the A.H. Ismail Center, and surrounding community organizations dedicated to promoting health and physical activity in all populations including children, adults, and seniors. The goals of the program are to prepare students as entry-level exercise specialists through one of two concentrations - health and exercise specialist or sport performance.
Each of the concentrations emphasizes educational and clinical experiences to enhance a practical understanding and the ability to work with various populations in practice of fitness and health. Students are prepared to sit for and pass either the American College of Sports Medicine Health Fitness Specialist Exam or the National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Exam.
Graduates are trained to assess, design, and implement individual and group exercise and fitness programs for individuals who are athletes, apparently healthy, and those with controlled disease. They are skilled in evaluating health behaviors and risk factors, conducting fitness/performance assessments, writing and implementing appropriate exercise prescriptions, and motivating/coaching individuals to modify negative health habits and maintain positive lifestyle behaviors for performance and health promotion. Some Applied Exercise and Health students also choose to pursue further education in graduate or professional school (occupational therapy, nursing, etc.).
Points of Pride
- Concentrated curricula in either Sport Performance or Health Exercise Specialist (commercial, community, clinical, or corporate health and fitness settings) through the College of Health and Human Sciences.
- Curriculum is based on the Committee for Accreditation for Exercise Sciences (CoAes).
- Strong commitment to the application of health and fitness practices focusing on efficiency in practice, communication skills, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.
- Students will receive hands-on personal instruction and training from educated and certified professionals in the field of health and fitness acquiring a minimum of 750 hours of supervised hands-on experience in the field prior to graduation.
Important note on selective review: All students begin as Pre-Applied Exercise and Health majors; complete the first year of courses, including supervised, instructional work through the A.H. Ismail Center; and then must apply for selection to either the health exercise specialist concentration or sport performance concentration. The program is selective, with approximately 30-35 students advancing to their second year in the health exercise specialist concentration and 5-10 students advancing to their second year in the sport performance concentration to complete the remaining three years of the program. Students not selected work with their academic advisor to change to an alternative major.